Sister of woman killed by jealous South Woodford lover speaks of pain of 18-year wait for justice
16:33 30 January 2013
The sister of a woman killed by her jealous lover has spoken of the pain of nearly 18 years waiting for justice.
Jane Harrison disappeared in 1995, aged just 32, days before going on a planned holiday to Florida with her two sons and boyfriend Kevin Doherty, 57.
The cab driver, who lived with his disabled wife and three children in Sherwood Avenue, South Woodford, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in prison at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
He killed her and hid her body in a lock-up garage, before faking calls to create an elaborate alibi that he maintained even into his trial.
Jane’s sister Claire Harrison, 44, said she was “elated” at Doherty being brought to justice.
But it was too late for devoted mother Phylis, who died in 2010 without knowing what had become of her daughter.
Claire said: “I would have liked a murder conviction, but I’m elated to have got as far as we got.
“At last it confirms he definitely killed her.
“But my poor mum went to her grave never knowing what happened to Jane.
“She is the reason the children are stable now.”
Phylis cared for Jane and Doherty’s one-year-old son Taylor and Ryan, 14, from a previous relationship, after her death.
In the agonising years after Jane’s disappearance, the family sought help finding her from psychic Uri Geller.
Claire said: “It’s been horrendous, but we have never given up.
“It makes us feel better that justice has been done but we will never rest until we find her body.”
Jane’s body has never been recovered and the prosecution used circumstantial evidence, including phone records and accounts of Doherty’s controlling and obsessive behaviour, to convict him of the crime.
The pair met at Charlie Chan’s nightclub in Walthamstow in January 1992 but their turbulent relationship on-off relationship was peppered with violence, the court heard.
It peaked when Doherty thought Jane was seeing another man.
Doherty was found guilty of manslaughter after a jury could not reach a verdict on murder.
Claire said she could not have got through the last 17 years without her family and the “perseverance” of police on the case.
“My sister was a devoted mother, a wonderful sister and a very beautiful and caring person,” she added.
“Her family came first and her children were everything to Jane.”